Parvatii Nair is pleasantly surprised when I start saying her film career started around seven years back. “Boy, it is that long,” she acknowledges with a smile. It is even longer since she received her first film offer which was in school. But neither Parvatii nor her parents were very keen on a film career. However, Parvatii admits to being quite drawn to theater. “But I was never crazy about getting into films. I kept dabbling with theatre as it was interesting to play different characters,” she recalls. Malayalam film Poppins happened after a few of her advertisements became incredibly popular in Kerala. “I used to get several calls. But I skipped very commercial films and picked roles in more off-beat films. There was a film in Kannada with a big star which I didn’t pick and chose something more unconventional,” she says. The reason she says was the ambivalence to take mainstream cinema as a profession.
“I have been a pretty good student. Initially, my parents didn’t think movies were my cup of tea. They thought I wasn’t cut out for the industry. But when they saw me getting offers constantly, they were supportive to let me explore for my satisfaction.” The defining moment, Parvatii says, was when she got a call for Kamal Haasan’s Uttama Villain in 2014. “I was preparing for GMAT then, I guess. The call came out of the blue and I felt it was destiny; that maybe this is meant for me.” It was also the biggest and longest that Parvatii had to shoot for. “I never had a plan or a strategy. For me, acting was just about doing roles I liked and being happy about it. My choices weren’t based on who I was paired with or what is the star value etc. I didn’t even know about all that. Acting is one job where I would never feel bored” she says.
Ask her if that was why she was comfortable with multi-starrers unlike several other heroines, Parvatii frankly admits that she was a bit naive with a few choices. “When the story is narrated to me, they used to make it feel like my character was the most important one. Eventually, when the movie comes out, you’ll be like ‘Oh I didn’t know this person was there or this would happen,’ I never wanted to play a random character in a movie,” she says with commendable candour. “For example, when it is a Kamal Haasan’s movie where everybody else in that film is bigger, it is fine. There was a lot to learn. But if it is a small film, I won’t be happy doing that,” she says.
She further adds that she doesn’t blame anyone or regret her choices. “Eventually, whatever I have chosen has only made me grow. Today, the movies I am doing are way better than what I did 2-3 years back — from all perspectives. I now know what I deserve.” Despite her experience, she is still open to multi-starrers as long as she is sure of the script and the significance of her role in the film, like her forthcoming film Nimir. Directed by Priyadarshan, Parvatii is quite sure that her role will not draw comparisons to the original. “I feel I won’t have too many comparisons. I feel my role looks quite different from Anushree’s role. And, the family background is different,” she says. She has another biggie in the pipeline as well, the untitled Mohanlal-Ajoy Verma film. Interestingly, Parvatii says the director saw her when she was shooting for Nimir. “Mohanlal sir had also seen the film and appreciated my performance in the film,” she says. A meeting with the director sealed the deal and the pretty actress has begun shooting for the same. “I was initially nervous but Mohanlal sir was so simple that all my nervousness vanished. I was very cool and chilled out after that,” she says.
Were her parents excited when she bagged a Priyadharshan film or a Mammootty film? “Not really,” she laughs. “While they are happy for me, they never get too excited. They are very level-headed and that helps me be grounded as well. They are content as long as I am happy.”